Monday, February 11, 2019

What a Shame......

Our writing word for today is "shame." I have heard it often. "What a shame you didn't come last week, the weather was perfect ... or you would have met so and so ... or ... the list goes on. Yes, I have had my fair share of disappointments. So many in fact, that I've had to come up with a strategy to deal with them. Here it is -

1. Decide that it was not a disappointment at all, but a reason to come back to a place in a better season or for a longer time or with one purpose in mind - to see or do a particular "thing."

2. Decide that you will not spoil the present by ruing something unpleasant in the past.

3. Decide that disappointments happen. They are part of life and you become stronger or richer because of them.

That being said, I don't plan to load up my life with disappointments, just to feel that since I have struggled, my life is fuller and richer. No, I try to make light of those "shameful" events or at least put them in perspective.

I can't let something that I did or said, or something that was said or done to me to ruin my enjoyment of the present or the future. If I caused the "shame." I try to be a better person. If someone else brought shame to me, I say, "These things happen. I'm still here." and set out to make the best of what's left.

The pictures? The best I could do for "No regrets." Life is about "You." But as a wise friend once said. "Don't take yourself too seriously." Life is still a game. You are dealt a hand, rolled the dice or moved the playing piece and now you must make the best of "it." Be your own judge and ignore what others think or say. Again it's your life. Mistakes will be made. That's a fact of life. Live with it and enjoy it.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Passage to.....

Our writing word for today is "passage." I always think of passage as a very grand word. It reminds me of long journeys by sea to distant lands. Wealthy people booked passages on steamships to the Orient. Or they took exotic train journeys, rail passages, to Istanbul.

The poor took passages too. Their journeys, though, were not as grand. For them the only luxury was to, hopefully, escape their poverty in a new land. In fact, people are still taking passages today in crowded boats, or trains and busses to again hopefully find freedom.

We often speak of a "rite of passage." These are markers in the journey of life. Some are grand and celebrated - birth, adolescence, marriage, death. Others are small, but important too - learning to skate, swim, ride a bike etc.

Always, though, with a passage there is the sense of completing something, or achieving something, of going through a trial and coming out at the end, a success. I think of tunnels as passages. I know bridges, paths, trails etc are passages too, but tunnels suggest a journey into the unknown. It's a time of darkness, even ignorance, but also, hope that we will come to some knowledge or understanding with the light at the end of the tunnel.

Some people have trouble with even the smallest or shortest of passages. I'm sure, we all have that friend, who never left home, who never graduated, never "grew up." Then there are those who constantly set themselves up for the most challenging of passages - Mt. Everest anyone?

Being a type B personality, I fall somewhere in between. I know I have to challenge myself daily or I will never grow, however, I am realistic. This does not mean that I won't run a marathon, it means, I know I have to train before I run one. I follow a group on FB called "Growing Bolder" (as opposed to growing older). They keep posting these stories of people who are achieving the most amazing goals at 70, 80, 90 & 100+

Now where are those track shoes?

Friday, February 01, 2019

Death Be Not Proud...

Our writing word for today is "Death." Well, I suppose it's important to think about the end of the story, as we read or write along. I somehow like to think, that if my life were a book, it would be a long (maybe slow) read. War and Peace comes to mind, as do these sagas written over several volumns. Then there's Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth and the never ending sequels.

Thinking about Death, is not something I do on a regular basis, but I have read and remembered what others have written on the subject. Mainly I remember the poets. Poets have a way of eulogizing almost anything - I often read "To A Mouse," which contains probably the saddest lines in all literature -

"The best laid schemes o' Mice and Men gang aft agley
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain for promis'd joy."

But, I digress. I was writing about a poet's distillation of Death. Here are some of my favourites.

Because I could not stop for Death -
He Kindly stopped for me -
The Carriage held but just ourselves -
And Immortality.

Emily Dickinson

Death be not proud, though many have called thee
Mighty and Dreadful, for thou at not so;
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

John Donne

and my favourite

Do not go gentle into that goodnight,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas

Someone asked me once, how I thought I should die. I said I just want to hit a brick wall at full speed. My mother died dancing. We were celebrating my father's 90th birthday. She was wearing her sparkly dress, her silver dancing shoes; she had her make-up on, her hair done, in fact, she looked like a million bucks at 83. After the anniversary waltz and a fast jive number, she was two steps into a tango when she died in my father's arms. We were all there to see her go. She was always a bit of an actress and I won't say it was staged, but it was a convincing performance!!

Well,  February 1 is Imolc, often celebrated in Celtic mythology as the first day of Spring - the rebirth. Ogden Nash had a great retort for someone worrying about growing older. He said, "How old is Spring, Miranda?"

The pictures? Many reasons to send flowers

Have a lively day!